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The agreement on co-existence of same-sex couples complicates the official celebration of Epiphany

06 January 2016 / 13:01:49  GRReporter
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The recently voted law on the cohabitation of same-sex couples caused not only a series of negative reactions but also complicated the traditional celebration of Epiphany in Greece. The expected opposition from the Greek Orthodox Church was more than explicit on the part of some Greek metropolitans.

Protest banners with slogans such as, "An agreement on co-existence - the Christian faith is destroyed" were hung in the centre of Egio by order of Metropolitan Amvrosios of Aigialeia and Kalavryta when the law was voted on in parliament. After the law was adopted, the church bells in the region tolled a funeral knell.

While reading his New Year's sermon, Metropolitan Dionysios of Corinth wished Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to attend the conclusion of such agreements by his sons with the words, "Since he believes that he has contributed towards significant progress with this, if I wished him to be present at the conclusion of such agreements by his children, he would probably have replied to me, "What is it that you are saying? Are you mocking me?" My answer is exactly this - we must respect some things in life and give a good example. And this is not a good thing. It makes man coarser and embittered. We do not need such people. They emerged elsewhere. We had no such people here. Let us not create such people."

For his part, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus defined the agreement on cohabitation of same-sex couples as "unacceptable" and accused all MPs who voted for the adoption of the law. In his message on the occasion of its adoption, he said, "Why not believe that all who supported this shameful law are enacting the orders of the big US bosses. We all know who they are."

According to government sources, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was especially irritated by the statements of the metropolitans and decided not to attend the water blessing at Piraeus port, which is carried out by the local metropolitan. For the first time the political leadership of the country were not present at the ceremony that takes place at the biggest Greek port, as President Prokopis Pavlopoulos decided to attend the water blessing in Athens. Sources from the presidency indicate that by protocol when the President is in the capital, he attends the celebrations that take place in it.

Thus, only one political leader was present at the water blessing ceremony in Piraeus, namely chairman of the Union of Centrists Vassilis Leventis.

For his part, Metropolitan Seraphim did not hide his dissatisfaction with the decision, angrily commenting on the fact that the first channel of the state television ERT would not broadcast live the ceremony in Piraeus. "The government forced the state television, which for decades gas broadcast worldwide the ceremony for Epiphany at the biggest port in the country, not to do so. Unfortunately, we have a government that may have been elected in a democratic manner, taking advantage of the economic tragedy of the country, but that is dominated by sharp fascist mentality, hatred and revengefulness."

In the end, the second channel of ERT broadcast live the service in Piraeus but many Greek analysts commented on the big twist in the relations between the Greek Prime Minister and the Metropolitan of Piraeus, who only a few months ago expressed his satisfaction with the governing of Alexis Tsipras. A comparison with last year's celebration is inevitable, when the future Prime Minister of Greece released a white dove to fly as a symbol of hope.

Greek Metropolitan Ieronymos did not attend the celebration in Piraeus either. This year he preferred to perform the ceremony near Flisvos, on the coastline of the Greek capital.

Tags: PoliticsCeremonyEpiphanyAlexis TsiprasMetropolitan Seraphim of PiraeusAgreement on cohabitation of same-sex couples
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